The Federal Government (FG) has through the Ministry of Agriculture said all undergraduates of agriculture universities must own viable farmlands on campus from 200-level till graduation.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh on Tuesday gave the directive during a meeting with members of the governing councils of federal universities of agriculture in Abuja.
“Every undergraduate must- and I repeat- must own a farm on campus from 200 level. We are training high-level young farmers who, even before graduating, should have started earning a living".
“We should be training graduates who should be going straight into production, with credit support from their Alma-Mata, produce chicken, eggs, goats, milk, set up meat laboratories, bake bread and above all produce and sell large quantities of high-quality hybrid seeds".
Ogbeh also directed the universities to establish Colleges of Nutrition and Medical Sciences in their institutions, stating that the revival or establishment of these colleges was necessary to improve the health status of the citizens and reduce the growing cases of ailments in the country.
According to him, most of the ailments humans suffer in life have to do with what they eat or fail to eat.
The Agriculture Minister added;
“One area in which we will give you increasing support is the area of nutrition. I know some of you already have schools of medical sciences. You may have to re-designate these schools of medical sciences as schools or colleges of nutrition and medical sciences".
“We don’t eat well in Africa. We eat too much carbohydrate and pay less attention to vitamins and proteins, and so most of the life expectancy issues we suffer have to do with our diet".
“Even the way we grow and process our food; the fertilizers we apply, the harvesting, the storage and packaging methods; all of them have very serious consequences on our lifestyle. Nobody is better placed than university professors and teachers to teach the rest of us how to eat and how not to eat".
“This is a very big subject that I will like you to work on and those of you who already have the colleges in their institutions should revive them immediately and get them working".
Ogbeh finally revealed that the Federal Government was not thinking of canceling non-agriculture courses or expel those students who were not studying agriculture-based courses in the institutions.